Floyd, et al. v. City of New York, et al.

At a Glance

Current Status 

The remedial process order by the District Court has begun. Parties are working with the court monitor to develop the "immediate reforms" as described in the court's August 2013 remedial order. In addition, all parties and stakeholders are preparing to begin the Joint Reform Process as ordered by the court, where additional reforms will be developed through input from those communities most directly affected by stop and frisk.

Date Filed: 

January 31, 2008

Co-Counsel 

Beldock, Levine and Hoffman, Demos, and Covington & Burling LLP

Client 

Dasaw Floyd, David Ourlicht, Lalit Clarkson, and Deon Dennis

Case Description 

The Center for Constitutional Rights filed the federal class action lawsuit Floyd, et al. v. City of New York, et al. against the City of New York to challenge the New York Police Department’s practices of racial profiling and unconstitutional stop and frisks of New York City residents. The named plaintiffs in the case – David Floyd, David Ourlicht, Lalit Clarkson, and Deon Dennis – represent the thousands of primarily Black and Latino New Yorkers who have been stopped without any cause on the way to work or home from school, in front of their house, or just walking down the street.

In a historic ruling on August 12, 2013, following a nine-week trial, a federal judge found the New York City Police Department liable for a pattern and practice of racial profiling and unconstitutional stops. Under a new administration, the City agreed to drop its appeal and begin the joint remedial process ordered by the court. After attempts by the police unions to derail the process, the United States Court of Appeals at last allowed the City to officially withdraw its appeal in October 2014, and the joint reform process – in which all stakeholders, from community groups to the NYPD, come together to agree on solutions – is being mapped out.

The Floyd case stems from CCR's landmark racial profiling case, Daniels, et al. v. City of New York, et al., which led to the disbanding of the infamous Street Crime Unit and a settlement with the City in 2003. The Daniels settlement agreement required the NYPD to maintain a written racial profiling policy that complies with the United States and New York State constitutions and to provide stop-and-frisk data to CCR on a quarterly basis from 2003 through 2007. However, an analysis of the data revealed that the NYPD had continued to enagage in suspicionless and racially pretextual stop and frisks, and so CCR filed Floyd.

Floyd focuses not only on the lack of any reasonable suspicion to make these stops, in violation of the Fourth Amendment, but also on the obvious racial disparities in who is stopped and searched by the NYPD – approximately 85 percent of those stopped are Black and Latino, even though these two groups make up only 52 percent of the city’s population – which constitutes a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. A landmark case, Floyd continues CCR’s founding tradition of working with grassroots groups and directly affected communities to fight for racial justice.

Case Timeline

July 9, 2015

Monitor submits first status report

July 9, 2015

Monitor submits first status report

Court-appointed monitor Peter Zimroth submits his first status report on the work done thus far in regards to the August 2013 court orders in Floyd.

April 24, 2015

Monitor submits revised training materials for Police Academy recruits

April 24, 2015

Monitor submits revised training materials for Police Academy recruits

As part of the immediate reform process ordered in Floyd, the court-appointed monitor submits for approval a set of revised training materials for NYPD recruits to be used at the Police Academy. Our team moved quickly to revise the materials so they can be used with the current class of recruits as they enter the legal training portion of their classes.  The new training materials accurately teach the constitutional limits on stop and frisk and explicitly prohibit racial profiling. 

February 23, 2015

Memo on reforms and constitutional standards read and posted at police stations

February 23, 2015

Memo on reforms and constitutional standards read and posted at police stations

The monitor submits, and Judge Torres approves, the text of a memo that is read by the NYPD at 10 consecutive roll calls in all precincts detailing the reforms ordered by Judge Scheindlin in Floyd. The memo is also posted in police stations and provided to all officers. The document details the constitutional standards governing stop and frisks, explicitly prohibits racial profiling by police, orders officers to include a narrative explanation for stops in their UF250 forms, and orders the start of a pilot program outfitting police officers with body cameras.

October 31, 2014
Second Circuit denies police unions' motions to intervene
October 31, 2014
Second Circuit denies police unions' motions to intervene
The Second Circuit Court of Appeals affirms the district court's decision to deny the police unions' motion to intervene, lifts the stay, and officially dismisses the City's earlier appeal.
October 15, 2014
Second Circuit hears oral argument on police unions' appeal
October 15, 2014
Second Circuit hears oral argument on police unions' appeal
CCR Legal Director Baher Azmy argues on behalf of the Floyd plaintiffs before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.
August and September 2014
Police unions appeal district court denial of motion to intervene
August and September 2014
Police unions appeal district court denial of motion to intervene

After the police unions appeal the district court's denial of their motion to intervene in Floyd, we file briefs opposing the appeals, as do the City of New York and plaintiffs in the Ligon case. In addition, four separate amicus briefs are filed in support of our brief, from law enforcement groups of color; the Public Advocate of the City of New York and members of the City Council; dozens of community groups across the city; and a group of law professors from across the country.

August 6, 2014
City files motion to withdraw appeal
July 30, 2014
District court denies police unions' motions to intervene and grants proposed modification to remedial decision
July 30, 2014
District court denies police unions' motions to intervene and grants proposed modification to remedial decision
Southern District Court Judge Analisa Torres issues an opinion and order denying the police unions' motions to intervene in the case, finding they have no standing and that their motions were untimely given how long the case had been going on. In addition, Judge Torres grants the jointly proposed modification of the district court's August 2013 remedial decision.
April 3, 2014
City and plaintiffs move jointly to modify remedial order
April 3, 2014
City and plaintiffs move jointly to modify remedial order
The City and plaintiffs jointly move to modify the district court's August 2013 remedial order to add the three-year time limit on the court monitor's term provided there is substantial compliance.
February 21, 2014
Second Circuit remands case to district court for parties to explore resolution
February 21, 2014
Second Circuit remands case to district court for parties to explore resolution
The Second Circuit issues an order remanding the case to district court for the parties to explore a resolution and to resolve police unions' motions to intervene.
January 30, 2014
City of New York announces agreement with plaintiffs and plans to drop appeal
January 30, 2014
City of New York announces agreement with plaintiffs and plans to drop appeal
The City announces an agreement with plaintiffs in exchange for placing a three-year time limit on the court-appointed monitor. The City agrees to drop its appeal and files a motion in the Second Circuit for remand to the district court.
December 10, 2013
City files appellate merits brief
December 10, 2013
City files appellate merits brief
The outgoing administration files its appeal weeks before it is due and weeks before the new administration moves into City Hall.
November 25, 2013

Seond Circuit orders en banc motions and unions' motions to intervene held in abeyance

November 25, 2013

Seond Circuit orders en banc motions and unions' motions to intervene held in abeyance

The Second Circuit issues an order holding en banc motions and unions' motions to intervene in abeyance in order to give parties an opportunity to request returning to the district court to explore a resolution of the case.

November 22, 2013
Second Circuit denies without prejudice City's motion to vacate district court decisions
November 22, 2013
Second Circuit denies without prejudice City's motion to vacate district court decisions
November 13, 2013
Second Circuit issues opinion and order further explaining removal of Judge Scheindlin from case
November 13, 2013
Second Circuit issues opinion and order further explaining removal of Judge Scheindlin from case
November 11, 2013

Plaintiffs file motion to reconsider Second Circuit's mandate en banc

November 9, 2013
City moves to vacate district court's liability and remedy orders
November 9, 2013
City moves to vacate district court's liability and remedy orders
October 31, 2013

Second Circuit grants City's motion to stay 

October 31, 2013

Second Circuit grants City's motion to stay 

The Second Circuit stays the remedial decision and all other district court orders and proceedings, and remands Floyd to the district court to assign a new judge.

October 29, 2013
Second Circuit hears oral argument on City's motion to stay
October 29, 2013
Second Circuit hears oral argument on City's motion to stay
September 24, 2013
CCR files motion to dismiss City's appeal for lack of jurisdiction
September 17, 2013
Judge denies City's motion for stay
September 17, 2013
Judge denies City's motion for stay
Judge Schiendlin cites the declarations of City Council members and others in denying the City's stay motion, writing that a stay would not be in the "public interest."
September 12, 2013
Police unions move to intervene as defendants in case
September 12, 2013
Police unions move to intervene as defendants in case
The five police unions ask the appellate court to allow them to join as defendants in the case.
August 16, 2013
City appeals to Second Circuit
August 16, 2013
City appeals to Second Circuit
August 12, 2013
Judge rules City liable for constitutional violations and orders broad reforms
August 12, 2013
Judge rules City liable for constitutional violations and orders broad reforms
In a landmark 198-page decision, Judge Shira Scheindlin finds by a preponderance of the evidence at trial that the City of New York has engaged in a years-long policy and practice of unconstitutional and racially discriminatory stop and frisks. In her second opinion, she appoints an independent monitor to oversee the development and implementation of a series of reforms to the polices, and orders a "Joint Remedial Process" involving direct input from affected communities and other stakeholders into what additional reforms will be necessary.
June 12, 2013

U.S. Department of Justice files Statement of Interest 

June 12, 2013

U.S. Department of Justice files Statement of Interest 

The DOJ's brief specifically supports broad injunctive relief on behalf of plaintiffs, should the court find the City liable and order injunctive relief, including the appointment of an independent monitor.
March 18, 2013
Trial begins
March 18, 2013
Trial begins
The trial lasts nine weeks, from March 18 to May 20, 2013, with community groups filling the courtroom every day.
March 5, 2013
Plaintiffs file brief requesting injunctive relief
March 5, 2013
Plaintiffs file brief requesting injunctive relief
Our brief outlines the injunctive relief requested if we win our case at trial. Our request includes oversight by an independent monitor and the proposition of a "joint remedial process" involving direct input into potential reforms from communities that directly feel the impact of the policies.
August 17, 2012
Court grants plaintiffs' Daubert motion in part
August 17, 2012
Court grants plaintiffs' Daubert motion in part
The Judge's ruling makes clear that the focus of this case is on whether NYPD practices are constitutional, not whether they are "successful" policies for fighting crime. She forbids the City's expert from testifying as to whether NYPD practices reduce crime. She does allow the City's expert to challenge parts of the analysis done by the plaintiffs' expert.
June 26, 2012
Plaintiffs file motion to exclude testimony of City's expert
June 26, 2012
Plaintiffs file motion to exclude testimony of City's expert
Plaintiffs file a Daubert motion to exclude the testimony of the City's expert, professor Dennis Smith.
May 16, 2012
Judge grants Class Certification Motion
May 16, 2012
Judge grants Class Certification Motion

The Judge's ruling allows anyone unconstitutionally stopped by the NYPD in New York City since January 2005 to be a plaintiff in the lawsuit. Judge Scheindlin notes in her decision: “Suspicionless stops should never occur. Defendants’ cavalier attitude towards the prospect of a ‘widespread practice of suspicionless stops’ displays a deeply troubling apathy towards New Yorkers’ most fundamental constitutional rights.”

April 16, 2012
Court mostly denies City's motion to exclude plaintiffs' expert
April 16, 2012
Court mostly denies City's motion to exclude plaintiffs' expert

The judge holds that with one exception, Professor Fagan may testify about all of his 4th and 14th Amendment analyses at trial. The one exception is that he may not offer any conclusions as to the constitutionality of stops where the officer listed "other" as the basis for the stop on his stop-and-frisk UF-250 form.

December 20, 2011
City files Daubert motion to exclude plaintiffs' expert Jeffrey Fagan
November 23, 2011
Court grants our Motion for Reconsideration
November 23, 2011
Court grants our Motion for Reconsideration
Judge Scheindlin grants our Motion for Reconsideration, reinstating the claim for plaintiff David Floyd's February 2008 stop.
November 7, 2011
CCR files Motion for Class Certification
November 7, 2011
CCR files Motion for Class Certification
We move to certify as a class all those unconstitutionally stopped by the NYPD since January 31, 2005. The Black, Latino, and Asian Caucus of the New York City Council (BLAC) as well as Communities United for Police Reform (CPR) also file amicus briefs in support of the motion.
August 31, 2011
Court denies majority of City's partial summary judgment motion
August 31, 2011
Court denies majority of City's partial summary judgment motion

In her 86-page decision, Judge Scheindlin concludes that the statistical evidence we submitted raises factual questions “as to whether the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk policies have had a disparate impact in the form of a widespread pattern of race-based stops,” and that supposed recent corrective action by the NYPD is not enough at this point “to negate the inference that intentional discrimination was the City’s standard operating procedure.”

Scheindlin grants summary judgment regarding one of the stops of lead plaintiff David Floyd. We immediately file a motion for reconsideration, disputing evidence presented by the City in their motion for summary judgment.

October 15, 2010
CCR submits Plaintiffs' Expert Report
October 15, 2010
CCR submits Plaintiffs' Expert Report
CCR submits Plaintiffs' Expert Report from Columbia Law Professor Jeffrey Fagan to the court. Fagan's analysis of six years of NYPD data backs up CCR's claims of racially biased and unconstitutional stops by New York City police.
August 2010
Fact discovery closes
August 2010
Fact discovery closes
Analysis of NYPD data shows that police stops continue to rise in New York City, and the racial disparity in stops continues, as well.
October 20, 2008
CCR files Second Amended Complaint
October 20, 2008
CCR files Second Amended Complaint
September 10, 2008
Court orders City and NYPD to turn over to CCR all stop-and-frisk data for past 10 years
September 10, 2008
Court orders City and NYPD to turn over to CCR all stop-and-frisk data for past 10 years

District Court Judge Shira Scheindlin issues her decision after CCR serves discovery requests on the City in April 2008 seeking production of the NYPD's stop-and-frisk data going back to 1998.

 

April 15, 2008
CCR files amended complaint
April 15, 2008
CCR files amended complaint
The First Amended Complaint adds new individual plaintiffs and seeks certification as a class action.
January 31, 2008
CCR files initial complaint
January 31, 2008
CCR files initial complaint
CCR files a complaint against the City of New York in the United States Court for the Southern District of New York.